Micromax co-founder Vikas Jain's consumer tech brand Play on Friday launched the PlayGo N82 and PlayGo T20. While the PlayGo N82 are active noise cancelling (ANC) wireless neckband-style earbuds, the PlayGo T20 are in-ear truly wireless (TWS) earbuds with environmental noise reduction (ENR). Both audio devices come with a water-resistant build and are delivered to deliver up to 16 hours of playback time on a single charge. Play has also roped in actor and producer Sonu Sood to promote the new launch.
PlayGo N82 neckband earbuds carry a price tag of Rs. 2,999, while the PlayGo T20 TWS earbuds come at Rs. 1,999. Both will be available for purchase through the Play website as well as Amazon and Flipkart.
The PlayGo N82 come with 13mm audio drivers that are paired with dual switchable equalisers. There is a three-button control for changing the audio track and accepting or rejecting voice calls, and activating the voice engine. There is also a built-in microphone for audio input. The earbuds come with a magnetic design and have an IPX5-rated build that brings water and sweat resistance.
In terms of connectivity, the PlayGo N82 has Bluetooth v5.0. There is also an onboard battery that is rated to deliver up to 16 hours of playback time. Besides, the earbuds come with a button to enable active noise cancellation.
Unlike the PlayGo N82, the PlayGo T20 are the brand's latest TWS earbuds that come with proprietary audio drivers and include ENR. The earbuds come with microphones that are claimed to deliver an HD call quality, along with noise reduction and echo cancellation.
Similar to other TWS earbuds in the market, the brand claims that the PlayGo N82 also carry an auto-connect feature that lets the earbuds pair automatically with a compatible device. Further, there is Bluetooth v5.0 support. The earbuds carry a battery pack that delivers up to five hours of usage on a single charge, while the changing case enhances the playback time by up to 11 hours — providing a total battery life of up to 16 hours.
Micromax' Jain co-founded Gurugram-based Play with his school friend Sandeep Banga last year, with an aim to enter the emerging world of connected devices. However, chiefly due to the coronavirus pandemic, it wasn't able to operate at full capacity and gain any significant popularity in the market.
“Commercially, a lot less has been achieved as yet,” Jain told Gadgets 360. “But I think from a product pipeline, we are very well entrenched now to be a long part of the industry.”
Play currently has a team of about 75-80 people, with a specific 15-member design team, according to Jain.
Although the brand has partnered with a couple of factories in the country for domestic manufacturing of its key products, it does import some products from China. However, Jain is optimistic to start making the entire Play portfolio locally in the country as early as next year. He also emphasised that unlike many other audio companies and wearable makers that have their servers and apps based in China, Play has both its application development and servers in the Indian market.
Bootstrapped by Jain and Banga, Play already has seven distinct products on its online catalogue. Those include two neckband-style earbuds, a set of TWS earbuds, and a pair of headphones as well as two fitness bands and a smartwatch. There are, however, plans to bring about five to six new models over the festive season. The brand is also striving to take on Chinese competitors including Realme and Xiaomi with its distinct designing.
“You see a lot of the Chinese players coming in,” said Jain. “But what is happening in this particular case is that not many companies are focussing on design and development. So we've been focusing deeply on the designing part.”
Jain is also not leaving Micromax aside and is planning to operate Play alongside the mobile phone company that once dominated the Indian market.
“The strategy at both companies is very, very different, because you will appreciate the average selling price of both the categories is very different. So the strategy is very, very unique for Play, and very unique for Micromax,” he underlined.
Which are the best truly wireless earphones under Rs. 10,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.